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Frame Swap
#1
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johntrhodes81
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I keep kick around the idea of a frame swap on a 51-54 body. I would keep the Packard engine, it just seems wrong to put something else in there.

Packard 51-54 Track:
Front 60"
Rear 61 7/32"
Wheelbase: 127" or 122"

My donor idea:
2006-2010 Ford Explorer/ Mercury Mountaineer
Front Track: 60.9"
Rear Track: 61.8"
Wheelbase: 113.7"

It will need to be lengthened but the width should work.

The frame swap gets you:
4 wheel independent suspension
4 wheel disc brakes
Rack and Pinion Steering
Better handling
Better Braking
Easy to find suspension parts

Just something I keep thinking about. Haven't heard of too many Packard frame swaps, especially if people are trying to keep it stock looking so people don't know what you did.

John

Posted on: 2012/9/20 21:06
John Rhodes

1953 Packard Patrician
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Re: Frame Swap
#2
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PackardV8
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I'd go 4wd buta 4wd that sets rather low to the ground.

Posted on: 2012/9/20 21:08
VAPOR LOCK demystified: See paragraph SEVEN of PMCC documentaion as listed in post #11 of the following thread:f
http://packardinfo.com/xoops/html/mod ... ewtopic.php?topic_id=7245
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Re: Frame Swap
#3
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Mike T
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The S-10 truck frame is a popular swap for a lot of old cars and trucks. There are lots of threads in other forums about it. It may not have independent rear suspension, but you can bolt on tons of ready made aftermarket components.

Posted on: 2012/10/27 10:10
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Re: Frame Swap
#4
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Anthony Pallett
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One option is a metric chassis GM frame think Monte Carlo or Cutlass 1978-1987. I think there a bit short but these are very popular cars to modify so anything you want from stock to extreme is available plus you can usually pic em up pretty cheep, in my area a v6 metric chassis car goes for 500 or less. Another option is camaro or again metric chassis front clip grafted to the Packard frame around the fire wall area. That is a very common procedure and if you wanted disk brakes in the rear a 8 or 9 inch ford or comparable GM rear would fit. Packard's from that era are not near as heavy as they look, I believe my 52 is around 3600 lbs so you are not much heavier than a more modern passenger car. The interdependent rear suspension thing is not as good as it would seem in my opinion you wont really gain anything noticeable in ride quality and most of the OE stuff is pretty weak even for a L8 remember these engines have a lot of torque so wheel hop would likely be an issue in hard acceleration. They are also expensive if it breaks. Keep in mind what Ford does with a solid axle in the new mustangs. With the ranger frames you run into a split I beam front end on the older (cheap) ones which isn't inherently bad but doesn't really ride all that nice and doesn't have the "look" of stock. A smaller 4wd truck chassis would be pretty cool if you could mate the 4wd system to the Packard engine the mental image of breaking loose all four tires on a Packard in a smokey burnout at a cruise night is pretty cool. If you are in a bucks up situation a custom fabbed chassis is an option that way you would drop a ton of weight which would help with acceleration and gas mileage and you could set it up how you wanted it with what ever breaking/ handling abilities you desired.

Posted on: 2012/11/12 1:12
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Re: Frame Swap
#5
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Torranosaurus
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How about a Suburban frame?
I have a stripped 2000 Suburban. It's wheelbase is 130, 3 inches longer than my 55. Frame is fairly flat so I think it's a good candidate.

Posted on: 9/8 7:28
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Re: Frame Swap
#6
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JeromeSolberg
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I fail to see the logic in this. The existing Packard X-frame is very stout, has a nice front suspension with an anti-roll bar on some versions, you can add power steering if you wish, or front disc brakes via kits from Kanter and others. The rear suspension is a standard Hotchkiss drive, new leaf springs are available if you wish, or swap out the rear axle if you really want to, the proposed alternatives mostly have rear leaf springs as well so no improvement there.

On the standard frame you can fit a 700R4 or 4L60E instead of the Ultramatic, if you wish.

The only improvement one is really getting by doing the immense effort of a frame swap is ball joints instead of kingpins on the front. That is a lot of work for a very small (if any) benefit. All the parts to rebuild the existing front suspension are available from Kanter and others as well.

Posted on: 9/8 12:02
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Re: Frame Swap
#7
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Tim Cole
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As well, Packard used high grade materials. Today they use cheap junk. We have a 2009 test vehicle with the spring mounts rotted off. Haven't looked at the frame yet. On my modern car I coated the lower control arms because they started looking like a barbeque at the weld points. The materials they use for disc brakes today are also junk. I remember when you could hang and bang pads over and over and not replace discs. Of course that is the only real alternative given new drums are not available.

Posted on: 9/9 8:03
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Re: Frame Swap
#8
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John
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I'll second the frame rot problems anymore.....

Posted on: 9/13 9:23
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